Buying gold carries serious risks, not just to your character, but to your WoW account, to your money and your credit card. The question to ask yourself is: is this worth it? There are numerous risks associated with buying gold from sellers or on places like ebay. Technically, buying gold is considered to be cheating, and a breach of the End User License Agreement you have to sign before you can play World of Warcraft. By breaching this agreement, you waive the right to your account. If Blizzard catches you buying or selling gold, your account can be permanently banned.
Most gold sellers are also located out of the United States. The same laws do not apply to them and if you use a bad service and wind up losing your money, chances are very high you will never get it back. In order to get a refund, you would need to get involved with a credit card company and explain the circumstances. The end result is that you may get your money back, but you will lose your account in the process.
The last risk of buying gold (or other services gold sellers frequently offer, such as power leveling) is of course having your account and/or personal information stolen. While rare, it can and has happened.
In exchange for all these risks, you are given the possibility of having your WoW character become rich in a matter of minutes. You spend real money to gain WoW money, and you’ll get a lot of it. Prices vary, but you can typically get 1,000 gold for around $10-$20. Depending on where you purchase your gold from, you will receive it anywhere from a few days to a few minutes. Online auctions take longer, since you must wait for the auction to end, but they are typically a little safer, since you have the accountability of the auction site. Gold sellers deliver faster, but you take a much bigger risk buying from them.
One thing to consider if you are thinking of buying gold is “what else could I get with the money?” Let’s say you spend $30 for 2,000 gold. What else could you have done with your $30? You could have paid for two months of your WoW subscription (assuming you pay month-to-month; $30 on a three or three-month subscription would buy you almost three months) or you could’ve paid for 75% of the new expansion if you didn’t already have it. You could feed yourself for a week, buy new clothes or pay your monthly water bill.
Aside from the opportunity cost, there is the value to consider. Again, let us say you spend $30 for 2,000 gold. Let us also assume you are paying month-to-month. That $30 could have bought you two month’s worth of subscription time. How much gold could you farm in two months? For most players, the answer is “a lot more than 2,000 gold.” You don’t even have to be that good at farming; Mining and Jewelcrafting can make 1,000+ gold in a single hour.
There are a wealth of “how to farm gold quickly” articles on the web, many of which will cost you only the time it takes to find and read them. Many of them will have strategies you have never heard of and will quite possibly make you a good bit of gold, should you choose to follow them.
You could also take a look at your current gold-making strategy. What do you do to make gold? Do you have two gathering professions? If not, you may want to consider doing so. Having two gathering professions allows you to sell everything you collect. Doing so is highly profitable, and can make a pile of gold in short order. Even low-level materials sell well.
While it is true that for a little real money, your character can get rich quick, the combination of high risk and potentially terrible value make buying gold a dangerous and wasteful venture. You are much better off using your money for other things and farming the gold yourself.
This post is part of the series: Guide to Buying & Selling WOW Gold
Should you buy World of Warcraft Gold? Is WoW gold worth the price? Take a look at this article series for the buying and selling of gold and accounts in the WoW Online Marketplace.